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Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Jonathan meets regional defence ministers over Boko Haram

President Goodluck Jonathan, on Monday at the State House, Abuja, met with
the Defence and Foreign Affairs Ministers of Chad, Niger Republic,
Cameroon and Benin Republic towards evolving a legal framework for the
cross-border military operations with Nigeria. The visiting ministers were
accompanied to the Presidential Villa by Nigeria's Minister of Foreign
Affairs, Aminu Wali, and the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal
Alex Badeh. A statement issued after the parley said Jonathan reiterated
his belief that such collaboration was essential for success in the war
against terrorism. The cross-border military
operations were approved by Jonathan and leaders of the
neighbouring countries during their recent meeting in Niamey, capital of
Niger Republic.

The President expressed his confidence that with the intensification of
joint patrols, military operations and intelligence sharing by Nigeria and
neighbouring countries as agreed by their leaders in Niamey last week, the
activities of insurgents and other cross-border criminals would soon be
drastically curtailed. His words: "I am quite pleased with the decisions
we took in Niamey to enhance and boost joint actions against Boko Haram
and other cross-border criminals because we have to work together to
defeat Boko Haram and other extremist groups in our

"I believe if we cooperate more and monitor our borders closely, the
movement of criminals andterrorists, as well as small arms and ammunition
across our shared borders, will also be drastically reduced". The
President said he was expecting the ministers to deploy their collective
experience and professionalism in coming up with an effective action plan
for the successful implementation of
the decisions reached by the leaders of Nigeria, Chad, Niger, Cameroon and
Benin Republic at their meeting in Niamey on October 7, 2014 where the
leaders announced plans to step up the fight against Boko Haram.

A communiqué issued after the meeting said a command centre for a
multinational force headed by a chief of staff will be in place by
November 20. The leaders also agreed to
finalise the deployment of troops promised by member-states to form the
multinational force within their national borders by November 1.


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